On September 4th, 2012, CAC filed an amicus curiae brief in the Supreme Court in support of the Petition for a Writ of Certiorari in Miller v. Louisiana. In 2003, petitioner Corey Miller was convicted of murder in the second degree by a 10-2 jury vote. Louisiana is one of just two states that permit conviction by a non-unanimous jury. Miller, a recording artist, had been found guilty of the shooting death of a 16-year-old fan during an altercation outside a Baton Rouge nightclub.
CAC’s brief urges the Supreme Court to reaffirm that the Sixth Amendment right to trial by jury requires that a criminal conviction be based on a unanimous jury verdict, and that the Fourteenth Amendment requires states to recognize that right. The brief cites constitutional text and history on both points. Founders from John Adams to James Madison understood jury unanimity to be a bulwark of liberty, as essential to the jury trial right as the right to a jury of one’s neighbors and peers. The framers of the Fourteenth Amendment, which applied the guarantees of the Bill of Rights to the states, specifically mentioned the right to a jury trial as one of the fundamental rights newly protected against state infringement.
On February 19, 2013, the Supreme Court denied certiorari in the case.